Host a wine event one year? Goes gangbusters.

Host wine event the next year, with significant financial investment? Barely causes a ripple…

So. The hard lessons:

  • I rather imagine that many of the exhibitors who gave up their time and energy, let alone their wines, will be that much more hesitant at the next opportunity.
  • There will not be another NOT The Usual Suspects. At least not for quite some time.
  • And if I do do anything, it will involved more pre-sold tickets.
  • And if I really do anything, it will be smaller. Manageable. Build a database. Go the long, hard way. Several small events.
  • And possibly even go back to the Wine Centre. If we can nut out the other organisational requirements of both parties. It is a great venue, and a prime showcase for SA wine.

There are any number of excuses as to why it did not work:

  • Weather was good. If weather had been bad, equal problem. So we need average, not-too-nice-not-too-poor-Goldilocks weather.
  • Time of year. The key complaint at last year’s was that it was smack bang in the silly season (December), and could we bring it forward to September-ish? Except everything else is on, and, as above, the weather was good so people went… elsewhere? Apparently to the OzAsia Festival.
  • Not enough marketing. Although, if I were to bump up a marketing spend (already sitting at several thousand dollars), the exhibitor fees would increase.
  • So many wine events in Adelaide. Yeah. I can’t fix that one. Except by removing this one from the calendar, so consider that done.

I would like to thank the exhibitors, without whom this would not have even been possible, and the venue – and its manager and staff. The people who got on board and promoted the event via their own social media and databases. The suppliers of printing, signage and glassware who all made their prices a little more reasonable. The staff – who put up with, on occasion, a little more than they really should have done. The houseguest who was probably expecting a lightly more energetic event, and a slightly less grumpy friend.

I would also like to thank the people I dined with on Sunday night, who kept me a little sane. The wineries who called and emailed me the next day to make sure I was ok.

AND THE WINES. The array of wines was simply outstanding. Those we did have through the doors have all remarked on the sheer standard and range on offer. We are very lucky to have all of these awesome producers at our fingertips. Here’s hoping the word filters out from attendees about the awesome alternates.

Just disappointed. But with plans for more stuff. Still on the unusual varieties bandwagon, but smaller events.

Thanks, people.



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